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Disney revenues climb in Q1; streaming subscribers reach 26.5 million

The Walt Disney Company released its earnings for the first fiscal quarter of 2020 on Tuesday (Feb. 4), reporting a spike in revenue and a whopping 26.5 million subscribers for ...
February 5, 2020

The Walt Disney Company released its earnings for the first fiscal quarter of 2020 on Tuesday (Feb. 4), reporting a spike in revenue and a whopping 26.5 million subscribers for subscription streaming service Disney+, which launched just under three months ago.

Revenues, up 36% from the year-ago quarter, landed at US$20.9 billion — up from $19.1 billion in the fourth quarter of 2019. Diluted earnings per share (EPS) from continuing operations for the quarter dipped to $1.17 from $1.86 in the prior-year quarter.

Media networks revenue jumped 24% from the year-ago quarter to $7.36 billion, with cable networks’ revenue climbing 20% to $4.8 billion and broadcasting rising 34% to $2.6 billion.

The mass media company’s direct-to-consumer and international segment landed at just under $4 billion, with an increase in operating losses from $136 million to $693 million.

Those losses were largely due to the costs associated with the launch of Disney+ — which rolled out in the U.S., Canada and Netherlands on Nov. 12, 2019 — the consolidation of Hulu — which began March 20, 2019 — and losses at ESPN+ resulting from higher programming costs.

ESPN+ paid subscribers for the quarter totaled 6.6 million; Hulu sat at 30.4 million.

“We had a strong first quarter, highlighted by the launch of Disney+, which has exceeded even our greatest expectations,” Robert Iger, chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company, said in a statement. “Thanks to our incredible collection of brands, outstanding content from our creative engines and state-of-the-art technology, we believe our direct-to-consumer services, including Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu, position us well for continued growth in today’s dynamic media environment.”

About The Author
Jillian Morgan is a special reports editor at realscreen with a background in journalism and digital marketing. She joined the publication in 2019 after serving as the assistant editor to trade publications HPAC and On-Site. With a bachelor of journalism from the University of King's College in Halifax, she also works as a freelance writer and fact-checker.

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